Google Play Store finally coming to China? It could happen next year

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Android’s relationship with China is a tricky one, to say the least. While Android or Android-based platforms power over seventy percent of the country’s handsets, they’re doing so without a lot of the Google polish we get elsewhere: no Google Play services, and no Google Play Store. And while plenty of alternative China-based app stores exist to give the nation’s smartphone users their software fix, that’s still a whole lot of access to users that Google’s missing out on. A couple months back we checked out reports suggesting that Google was finally about to figure out a way to work with China and find a way to bring it a version of the Play Store that complied with the country’s censorship practices. Now a new source suggests that this plan is still happening, but on a slightly different timetable than originally reported.

Instead of launching a Chinese Play Store this fall, Google may be working towards a launch sometime in the new year, likely after February but before summer.

The service would be fully distinct from the international Google Play Store, both in an effort to conform with censorship demands as well as data-storage rules.

While the Play Store would be the first component of this return to the Chinese market, Google would presumably follow that launch up with the introduction of additional services in the nation – though we don’t yet have a good sense for what might be next, or how far off its arrival might be.

Source: Reuters

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!